I did not expect to cry.
I knew how it worked. The American Friends Service Committee sets up boots on the ground with the names and ages of the soliders tagged onto them. Each pair represents an American soldier killed in the Iraq War.
1,751 pairs of boots.
3,000 shoes to represent the over 100,000 Iraqi children, women and men killed through the conflict. (sponsored by the Sept 11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow)
Also, boots representing soldiers from other countries killed in Iraq.
Over 5000 pairs in total. And the count rises daily.
Eyes Wide Open, an exhibition on the human cost of the Iraq War, exposes the tragedy of this war of terrorism.
The American Friends Service Committee’s Chicago office started the display over a year ago with 504 pairs of boots. They now need a large moving truck to haul the boots and shoes from place to place.
I resolved not to cry, but then, off to the side, I saw a display about soldiers who committed suicide either while still in Iraq or after they returned. On display was the full desert uniform and boots of a 23 year old soldier accompanied by photographs of his incredibly young face and a note from his mother to all of us.He finished his tour of duty, returned to his family home near Boston then killed himself. The cost of war and the pricelessness of peace.
That’s when I wept.